Iraq Wins Asian Cup

If the United States’s hockey victory in 1980 was a tonic for the “malaise” of the time, stemming from inflation, high oil prices, and a military setback or two (except for the core inflation, sounds familiar. . .) you can imagine how Iraqis must feel about their country’s first-ever Asian Cup title.

Now, for those of you uninitiated to the many wonders of international soccer, this means Iraq will play in the Confederations Cup in 2009, along with North American champion US, South American champion Brazil, World Cup champion Italy, and the eventual Oceania (my guess that’s New Zealand), Africa, and European champions… plus the host, South Africa.

And what did the team captain say?

“I want America to go out,” he said. “Today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, but out. I wish the American people didn’t invade Iraq and, hopefully, it will be over soon.”

Mahmoud also said he will not return to Iraq to celebrate.

“I don’t want the Iraqi people to be angry with me,” he said. “If I go back with the team, anybody could kill me or try to hurt me.”

Well, General Petraeus–how many more Friedman Units do you need to fix that?